Luxury 8 day driving tour of North and North West Ireland
A 7-day, private tour of the glorious north and north-west, starting from the heritage city of Dublin.
Immerse yourself in the history and scenery of the beautiful north. A giddy mixture of cities and far-off wilderness, you’ll adore our warm hospitality, wherever you are.
Your comfort is our priority and hand-selected premium hotels line your route. Luxurious service at its very best.
Throughout your adventure, you’ll be in the experienced care of your driver-guide. There to ensure your trip is incredible in every way, they’ll cover the detail and leave you to relax. And they’ll enrich each day with ancient tales and historical detail; your guide book, your driver, your friend.
Céad Míle Fáilte – Welcome to Dublin: Your adventure begins
Arrive at Dublin airport, safe in the knowledge that your friendly driver-guide will be waiting to greet you. Sit back in your luxury vehicle and know everything is taken care of.
Depending on the time of your flight, we’ll suggest a visit to Brú na Bóinne (Boyne valley tombs). A UNESCO World Heritage Site on the banks of the River Boyne, it preserves over 90 Neolithic monuments – and the largest collection of megalithic art in Western Europe. The 4,500-year-old tombs are the perfect starting point to our remarkable history.
A short drive brings you to Dublin. If desired, your driver-guide will provide a brief orientation tour of the city, ahead of taking you to your luxury hotel.
You’ll relish two nights at The Shelbourne Hotel, a Renaissance Hotel, this property boasts a picture-perfect location overlooking St. Stephen’s Green, just moments from some of Dublin’s most famous historic landmarks. The Shelbourne Hotel delivers 5-star excellence from a central location, it provides sumptuous facilities in a majestic, historic building. Experience award-winning dining, indulgent pampering and first-class service.
Tonight, catch your breath and relax. You’re about to experience Ireland at its very finest.
More about your driver-guide
Your driver-guide is there to make your trip fantastic. Giving a bespoke and professional service, there’s no guesswork for you. Our friendly, time-served driver-guides have so much local knowledge, they’ll make every moment matter. And yet, when you need some flexibility, that’s just what you’ll get. It’s your time, your special trip.
With a private, luxury vehicle, your driver-guide is with you for eight hours a day (taking an hour for lunch). You’ll welcome their Irish warmth and love for their country. Whatever you want to learn about and whenever something needs to be organised, they’re ready to help.
Touring with a local has so many advantages. You’ll travel the best routes and see hidden gems that tourists rarely discover. And what stories they’ll have up their sleeves!
Dublin: A walking tour and time to explore
After your first Irish breakfast, you’ll meet our friendly local guide in your hotel lobby. They’ll take you on an informative, private three-hour walking tour of Dublin city. Offering a fascinating insight into Ireland’s capital, you’ll learn more about life in Dublin. Rest assured, we can tailor our tour to meet any mobility needs or specific interests.
Key highlights include Dublin Castle – an impressive 13th century building, now a major government complex since independence in 1922. You’ll also see The Custom House near Dublin Port. Opened in 1791, it’s awash with neoclassical splendour. And no visit would be complete without experiencing the Georgian doors of Dublin first-hand. Colourful and decorative, they’re now part of Dublin’s DNA.
Your walking tour will end at Trinity College Library: home to the Book of Kells. Nestled in the heart of Dublin along ancient cobbled stone lanes, we’ve included your entrance fee to admire this lavishly decorated and most historical book. Crafted from vellum, it contains the four Gospels in Latin, dating back to 384AD. The book is famous throughout the world.
You’ll have more time to explore during the afternoon. Let us know what interests you and we’ll help you plan your time. That might be St Patrick’s Cathedral or perhaps Kilmainham Gaol. The Guinness Storehouse is always popular, as is The Dublin Writers Museum. Then there’s the Irish Immigration Museum. Oh, and the shopping too!
Your tour includes an evening transfer to the Celtic Nights dinner and Irish dancing show. This takes place at The Arlington Hotel. It’s a lively event that’s not to be missed. Your driver-guide will transport you safely to and from your hotel tonight.
Belfast, Titanic Birthplace and North Coast Awe
Today, you’ll travel north to Belfast, in the company of your driver-guide. An incredibly proud city, you’ll find a lively atmosphere and many historic landmarks. Your driver-guide will start with a social and historical tour of Belfast. This will include the political districts, where you’ll see murals created by both loyalist and republican communities. Learn about both sides of this troubled and complex history.
You’ll have time to stop for lunch in central Belfast and soak up more of its character and culture.
Belfast’s maritime heritage is clear. Birthplace of the world-famous Titanic ship, you’ll go to the Titanic visitor centre. Opened in 2012, it includes nine interactive galleries, many special effects and full-scale reconstructions. Marvel at the state-of-the-art skill (at the time) of the shipyard. And yet, imagine the horror of the legendary sinking, complete with so much high-class finery.
You’ll then leave Belfast and travel further north along a stunning coastal route, taking in the Glens of Antrim. It covers 80 miles of rugged cliffs and nine different glens (deep valleys), each with a distinct, historical name. You’ll keep travelling though, as you’re heading to the pretty village of Bushmills. You might recall a whiskey brand of the same name; Bushmills is home to the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery.
For two nights, you’ll stay at the Bushmills Inn Hotel (a deluxe room awaits you). Steeped in historical charm that dates to the 1600s, this lavish boutique hotel is a one-off. With a striking coastal backdrop, it’s a lovingly restored retreat that boasts individual character coupled with modern comforts.
The Giant's Causeway, costal sights and a wee dram
Just a few miles from Bushmills is an epic Irish landmark. Yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Giant’s Causeway is an extraordinary natural wonder. Over 40,000 hexagonal basalt pillars are stacked together in an almost manufactured way.
And yet, this was the work of a volcanic eruption – 60 million years ago. That is unless you believe the mythical legend of two giants that fell out. Irish giant, Fionn mac Cumhaill and Scottish big man, Benandonner. Your driver-guide will take up the story.
The visitor centre and its audio tour are very informative. You might also choose to stroll along the coastline. There are fresh vantage points to view what many consider to be the eighth wonder of the world.
After a lunch of your choosing, you’ll admire more northern coastal beauty. The dramatic cliff-top ruins of Dunluce Castle are worth a visit. The earliest written record of this structure is 1513. And if you’re a fan of the award-winning TV show, Game of Thrones, we’ll point out many of the wild and rugged sites used for its filming. The production headquarters for Game of Thrones is Paint Hall Studios in Belfast.
A National Trust site worth experiencing today is Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge near Ballintoy. Linking the mainland to the small island of Carrickarede, you’ll need a head for heights if you’re to walk the 20-metre length. Sitting at 30 metres high, it’s a great viewpoint.
Later in the afternoon, no visit to Bushmills would be complete without a trip to the distillery for a wee dram. You’ll enjoy a VIP experience before a short walk back to your hotel. Spend the evening as you wish tonight. Of course, your driver-guide is to-hand if you need recommendations for dinner.
Discovering Derry ahead of a world luxury hotel
Leaving Bushmills behind today, you’ll travel along a scenic section of Wild Atlantic Way before arriving in Derry (also known as Londonderry). Second largest in Northern Ireland, Derry is the only completely walled city in the country, complete with seven gates. History dates back 1,500 years, and whilst there’s much to take in, you’ll also find a vibrant and modern culture today.
Your time in Derry will include an award-winning private walking tour, established by the late Martin McCrossan. Taking in many vantage points across the city, you’ll learn about its incredible history including The Bogside, The Bloody Sunday Story, and The Peoples’ Gallery. Lunch will be to suit you in Derry, and you’ll have some spare time to do your own exploring.
When you’re ready, your driver-guide will take the wheel again, travelling into County Donegal. We call it God’s County. National Geographic let it top their Cool List in 2017. With good reason.
Awash with castles, rugged coastline and mountainous scenery, you’ll really feel off the beaten track. Following part of The Wild Atlantic Way again, you’ll be glad of your driver-guide as you’re safely transported to Solis Lough Eske Castle – your home for the next two nights.
A 5-star castle hotel in a secluded lakeside spot, just outside Donegal town, Solis Lough Eske Castle is rich in history; closely associated with the O’Donnell Clan. Lovingly restored to blend historic ancestry with modern elegance, this incredible hotel can certainly claim to be award-winning.
The only Irish hotel to achieve a World Luxury Hotel award, it’s been given the “World’s Best Luxury Hotel” award for FIVE consecutive years! Further recent awards include: one of Condé Nast’s top three luxury hotels in Ireland; TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award 2014; the European “Innovation in Service” Hospitality Award 2013; highly commended for “The Best Service Award” 2013 by the Tattler Spa Awards, and Condé Nast Readers’ Award 2013.
We think you’ll be comfortable here.
Exploring County Donegal: A true picture of Ireland
Today is all about experiencing traditional Irish culture in this remote part of the country. Accompanied by your trusty driver-guide, you’ll first travel via Killbegs – Ireland’s largest fishing port. Your scenic journey continues as you wind around Donegal Bay to Kilcar, and on to Slieve League – Europe’s highest sea cliffs.
Almost 2,000 feet in height, these mighty cliffs tower above the swirling Atlantic Ocean. This spot can leave you lost for words – it feels like the edge of the world. And the view from such a height on a clear day is astonishing. You’ll have plenty of time to take in the atmosphere on foot.
From the cliffs, you’re back on the road again to reach a small, unspoilt village called Glencolmcille. Cloaked in natural beauty, this is a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area). Your driver-guide is there to help – even teaching you a few phrases, so you’re ready to embrace the experience first-hand!
Next stop is the tiny town of Ardara. With more Atlantic views to drink in from Loughros Point, it’s a traditional town that captures the spirit of our Irish culture.
Your afternoon can also include a hand-weaving demonstration and stopping at a real Irish pub for a pint of the black stuff. Or perhaps a dram of Bushmills is more in order? And for lunch, there’s locally caught seafood to enjoy.
After an exhilarating day, your driver-guide will carefully return you to Solis Lough Eske Castle. Take the evening to relax and indulge in all the magnificent facilities.
Donegal to Dublin via Hennigan's Heritage Centre
Today, you’ll leave Donegal and head back towards Dublin. But first, your driver-guide will take you to one of the most authentic visitor sites in Ireland: Hennigan’s Heritage Centre.
An unassuming smallholding, Tom Hennigan will welcome you to his family’s home for 150 years. County Mayo was one of the worst affected areas of famine and devastating hunger. This was less than 160 years ago.
Tom and his family will give you a first-hand account of what traditional Irish life was like in this time. He’ll show you the basic tools used on the land and in the home. And he’ll contrast this to the workings of the big houses of Ireland – there were around 8,000 in 1850.
You’ll walk around the tenants’ houses and take a seat in the small, thatched 1870 farm cottage (where Tom was born and lived until 1990). This story is about as genuine as it gets. If you know of any Irish ancestors, Tom’s story will no doubt strike a chord in some way.
Once your visit draws to a close, your driver-guide will take you back to Dublin city. You’ve got a final overnight stay at The Shelbourne Hotel tonight. And it’s time to bid farewell to your driver-guide. You’ll be sad to say goodbye. But we’d love to see you again!
With some late afternoon and evening time to spare, pick up any last-minute gifts in Dublin and plan a grand finale dinner somewhere special. You’ve got a wonderful experience to reflect on, with memories to last a lifetime.
Farewell for now: Your transfer to Dublin airport
And so, the time has come to leave Ireland. We’re sad too. We love playing host and would be delighted to plan another adventure with you. Have you discovered the southern highlights yet?
To suit your flight times, we’ll arrange a private transfer to the airport. It’s only a short drive away. Delivering you to the door, you’ll check-in safely and start your journey home. But your heart? We know you’ll leave just a small part of it in beautiful Ireland. It’s impossible not to connect with this warm and loving land.
Farewell for now. We’ll see you soon.
With local, home country knowledge, we carefully create all our itineraries to give you the best experience. But you might have some specific requests. That’s why all our tours can be perfectly tailored to create your special experience. Got a special occasion trip? Or one to discover your ancestry in more detail? We can happily create a plan around your own needs.
This 7-day tour completes at Dublin airport. Should you prefer to fly home from Shannon airport, we can adjust the itinerary to achieve this. It’s all possible if you ask us.
What is included in your real Irish experience with Irish Luxury Tours
Hotels: You’ll enjoy seven nights’ bed and full Irish breakfast in the very best rooms.
- The Shelbourne Hotel (or similar 5 star hotel) Dublin: 2 nights in a deluxe room.
- Bushmills Inn Hotel Antrim: 2 nights in a Mill House room.
- Solis Lough Eske Castle Donegal: 2 nights in a deluxe king bedded room.
- The Shelbourne Hotel (or similar 5 star hotel): Dublin: 1 night in a deluxe room.
Driver-guide services: You’ll have exclusive use of our professional driver-guide services for five days of the seven days. You’ll be safely returned to Dublin airport on your return.
A party of up to two passengers will travel in a luxury saloon vehicle. We’ll provide a luxury minivan for three to five passengers. For a larger group, we’ve got many luxury vehicles to suit your needs.
- Private meet greet and arrival transfer including panoramic Dublin City tour
- 5 complete days of driver/guide services,
- Private departure transfer.
Extras: Additional extras included are:
- The Celtic Nights Dinner and Irish Dancing Show at the Arlington Hotel
Walking Tours: With an expert local guide
- Private 3 Hour Walking Tour of Dublin City
- Private Walking Tour of Derry City Walls
All itineraries are subject to availability
Price Per Person starting from (seasonal rates apply):
2 passengers from €4295 to €5695 per person sharing a double or twin
4 passengers from €3995 to €5495 per person sharing
6 passengers from €3595 to €4995 per person sharing
Other prices on request. Please note a single supplement applies for a single room and a single person travelling.
Entrance fees are included to the following sites:
- Bru na Boinne, Newgrange
- Trinity College
- Belfast Titanic Experience
- The Giants Causeway
- Carrick a Rede rope bridge
- Bushmills Distillery Tour
- Slieve League
- Hennigan’s Heritage Farm
All communications costs, hotels taxes and fees are also included and the services of our professional travel experts on the ground are available to you 24 hours a day 7 days a week throughout your trip.
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It's a stress-free way to create your magical Irish adventure with our hospitality experts. We can adjust any of the services included to meet your wish list, requirements and your budget.
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